Leishman fires career-low 61 to lead at Trinity Forest


Leishman was in a tie for 63rd at last week's Players Championship and he was in contention after two rounds of last month's Masters Tournament before finishing ninth, seven shots behind the victor Patrick Reed.

For the 50th anniversary of the AT&T Byron Nelson this week, the event moved from the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, to the links-style Trinity Forest course.

The Texan's tee shot faded too far right and found an awkward lie hanging on the lip of a fairway bunker, forcing Walker and his caddie to discuss pitching back out to the fairway rather than attempt what appeared to be an impossible shot to get to the green.

Leishman could not have asked for a better start to his round as his approach from 237 yards at the par-five first hole stopped three feet from the cup, allowing him a tap-in eagle that set the stage for a memorable day.

On the back nine the Australian exploded, making three straight birdies at 10, 11 and 12, then another eagle at the par-5 14th and one more birdie at the par-3 17th to come home in 29. Barring a disastrous round on Friday, Walker will make his eighth straight cut, a stretch that has included four top 25s and two top 5s, including last week's T-2 at the Players Championship.

"I was hitting my irons well and played good golf", said Hataoka, who is looking for her first victory on the American LPGA tour. "A big week for me, especially what's been going on, and I feel a lot better now".

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But the degree of difficulty, and the uncertainty of how - and where - his ball would come out were put to the back of Walker's mind as he made a decision to hit and hope with his 172-yard second.

Billy Horschel, who won the event past year, shares 44th place at three under. An injury that led to a WD at the Waste Management Phoenix Open no doubt played a role in some of his struggles.

"I didn't feel I was hitting the ball with much confidence", she said. "I withdrew during Phoenix and I saw two different doctors and saw nothing in there". "I didn't want to let myself get ahead of myself which was good". Basically an overuse issue.

"But 61 - I'll take that any day".

Importantly, the Queenslander poured in six birdies against just two bogeys in his 67 in his quest to avoid US Open sectional qualifying.